Apple has been granted patents for its “Ping” service and more by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Patent number 7886072 involves network-assisted remote media listening. In other words, Ping. Introduced with iTunes 10, Ping is a music-oriented social network for following your favorite artists and friends to discover what music they’re talking about, listening to and downloading.

iTunes Ping lets you post your thoughts and opinions, your favorite albums and songs, the music you’ve downloaded from iTunes, plus view concert listings and tell your friends which concerts you plan to attend. Per the patent, improved approaches for media listening amongst different users are disclosed.

For example, methods, systems or computer program code can enable users to have a remote listening experience in real time. Advantageously, a remote user at a remote client device can in effect listen to a particular digital media asset that is being played at a local client device of a local user. Media information and/or user profiles can also be provided about themselves and shared with other users. The inventors are Catherine Wormington, Camille Hearst and Steve Saro Gedikian.

Following is a summary of other patents won by Apple.

Patent number 7885654 involves dynamic carrier selection. Systems, methods, computer software for providing access to wireless communication services are provided. The invention, in one embodiment, can involve storing a network address on a mobile device and sending a request for network operator data from the mobile device to a mobile virtual network operator server associated with the network address.

In response, network operator data is received, and, based on the received network operator data, a network operator is selected. Communications are thereafter conducted using the selected network operator. In some situations, bids are received from multiple network operators for rates at which communication services using each network operator can be obtained. Preferences among the network operators are identified using the received bids, and the preferences are used to select the network operator for the mobile device to use in conducting communications. Tony Fadell is the inventor.

Patent number 7886235 is for interactive document summarization. A real-time interactive document summarization system which allows the user to continuously control the amount of detail to be included in a document summary. The inventors are Jeremy J. Bornstein, Douglass R. Cutting, John D. Hatton and Daniel E. Rose.

Patent number 7886264 is for automatic conversion for disparate data types. A computer-implemented method and an apparatus for use in a computing programming environment are disclosed. The method includes: receiving a plurality of user inputs, each user input specifying an action in a workflow; identifying a data type incompatibility between two of the specified actions; and generating a script for executing the actions in the workflow responsive to the user inputs, the script including code for performing a action for converting one of the two identified, incompatible data types to the second. The apparatus, in a first aspect, includes a program storage medium encoded with instructions that, when executed by a computing device, performs the method. In a second aspect, the apparatus includes a computing apparatus programmed to perform the method. The inventors are Eric S. Peyton and Tim W. Bumgarner.

Patent number 7884834 involves in-context paint stroke characteristic adjustment. In-context paint stroke characteristic adjustment, in which a first user input selecting a path of a paint stroke rendered on a display is received, an anchor point on the path is defined based on the first user input, and a characteristic adjustment control is rendered adjacent to the anchor point. A second user input is received via the characteristic adjustment control, and a characteristic of the paint stroke is adjusted at the anchor point based on the second user input. The inventors are Jean-Pierre Mouilleseaux, Stephen Sheeler and Gregory Niles.

Patent number 7885460 is for a method and apparatus for color correction. A graphical user interface for performing color correction and methods for implementing the color correction are disclosed. The graphical user interface allows a user to adjust the colorspace of the pixels in the image. In one embodiment, a color adjustment pad allows the user to push the pixels from a particular luminance level a desired magnitude towards a desired hue. Pixels from other luminance levels are affected proportionally. The graphical user interface further allows a user to adjust the luminance of the pixels in the image. A luminance adjustment slider allows the user to adjust the luminance of pixels from a selected luminance level by a relative amount. Pixels from other luminance levels have their luminance are affected in a manner proportional to a difference between the selected luminance level value and the luminance value of the other pixel. The inventors are Randy Buillos and Louis LaSalle.

Patent number 7884315 is for an invisible, light-transmissive display system. The inventors are Bartley K. Andre, Daniel Coster, Richard Howarth, Daniele de Iuliis, Jonathan P. Ive, Duncan Kerr, Jivan Kumar Khosla, Shin Nishibori, Matthew Rohrbach, Doug B. Satzger, Calvin Q. Seid, Christopher J. Stringer, Eugene Antony Whang and Rico Zorkendorfer.

Patent number 7884741 involves externally clocked audio input, determining a valid clock and muting audio during synchronization. Methods and apparatus for determining the existence of an external clock over a digital input port on a computer. In one embodiment, the external clock is validated, and a lock is performed when the clock is valid. Whenever a loss of the lock is detected, and, if a re-lock is likely, the apparatus is muted so that audio artifacts that would otherwise be heard are minimized. The methods and apparatus also provide automatic re-locking to the external clock when a sampling rate change is detected. The inventors are Anthony Guetta, Raymond Montagne and Matthew Xavier Mora.

— Dennis Sellers